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Local merchants look to give Oktoberfest a community touch

Local merchants look to give Oktoberfest a community touch

Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 7:01 pm

During the Oktoberfest event, several downtown businesses will be offering items for sale that are the work of area artists and business people and serve to reflect the heritage and pride of the community.
At the top of this list is the Arts Co-op, offering pottery, paintings, knitted items and other pieces created and crafted by the hand of local artists.
In addition, the Arts Co-op hosts displays and offers sessions in which members of the community, both young and old, have the opportunity to learn how to create these works of art and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the arts and their role in the preservation of history.
The Looking Glass Coffee and Curiosities, two doors down from the co-op on Lindell Street, not only specializes in tasty and caffeinated treats, but promotes the work of local craftspeople through the selling of hand-made jewelry, knitted items and, like the name says, several other “curiosities” that catch the eye and tempt the imagination.
The coffee house makes an ideal setting for book signings and the sale of the books by local authors such as Bob Cowser Jr. and Mitzi Doster.
In addition, The Looking Glass regularly features poetry readings from local writers and musical sets from a wide variety of musicians in the community.
Local potter Clint Riley and his business, Six-Toe Studio, showcase his own creations from clay in the form of thrown and altered potter and sculptures. The business is located on 204 Main Street across the road from the First United Methodist Church.
Riley creates his works of art with the idea in mind that no two will be alike and each has its own unique characteristics. Varieties of art include mugs and cups, vases, bowls, birdhouses, jugs and collaboration pieces.
Riley’s wife, Charity, specializes in arts of the edible variety.
She operates Charity’s Chocolates, offering everything from chocolate-covered strawberries to truffles to turtles, all made by hand.
Just down from Six Toe Studio is Claire and Schuster Interiors, a business specializing in items designed to breathe life into the inside of any home.
Currently, fall decorations are all the rage and the business has plenty of them and another item that hits closer to home is a commemorative Martin platter made exclusively for the store and featuring several historical places etched around its sides.
“The design was a concept and a company was commissioned to do them specially for us and geared toward Martin,” Claire Wade explained. “The artist drew the buildings around the platter based on pictures I sent and we collaborated through phone calls and email to get it looking the way it does. I’m very excited about it and the feedback has been great so far. The best thing about it is that it’s decorative and usable. I made sure we had a product that could be a keepsake and, at the same time, would be practical. As a hometown girl, I am very excited to carry an item in my store that showcases historic and prominent locations of the city of Martin.”
Finally, back on Lindell Street, Kirkland’s Antiques, Gifts, Interiors and Lighting has a long history of providing a touch of Martin and Weakley County to any home. As a business staple in downtown Martin, Kirkland’s serves as a hub for items that help to accent a house and turn it into a home.
Both Kirkland’s and Claire and Schuster offer bridal registries to entice brides-to-be to shop locally and keep the community and county spirit alive by purchasing their home designs from their hometown and county.
This is just a sampling of the local businesses that will be offering small pieces of the community through their products and artwork during Oktoberfest. To see more eye-catching items that reflect a strong sense of the Martin and Weakley County community, one need only take a stroll down Lindell Street  during the Oktoberfest event Saturday and take in the small-town, close-knit atmosphere that packs big-time community support and togetherness.
WCP 10.04.11


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